Thursday, March 21, 2013
Hundreds of anxious and excited faces sat in the Wando Performing Arts Center on Feb. 28 and March 1. Eighth graders from Moultrie, Cario, Laing along with several other public and private middle schools in the Charleston area visited Wando for a high school preview.
Over the two-day preview, about 1,200 students visited Wando, according to Freshman Academy Administrator Cheryl Swinton.
“We realize that many parents are very anxious about their students coming over to a large school like Wando, so we provide as many opportunities to become better acclimated and to make the transition smooth,” Swinton said.
During the orientation, students and teachers from ROTC, horticulture, chorus, dance, Warrior Ink and athletic departments spoke to the rising ninth graders encouraging them to join. Wando sophomore Ross Cary also hosted and gave away prizes to keep an upbeat and fun vibe with the middle schoolers.
“Our responses from the parents and the students have been very positive,” Swinton said. “Students are excited about the bio-medical science program; they observed students involved in drama and the other arts programs, the engineering, etc. There is just such an array of opportunities here at Wando.”
Many eighth graders said they are excited to pursue their interests at Wando.
“I’m interested in the bio-medical program and athletics. I want to be a doctor and my mom’s a nurse,” Laing eighth grader Hannah Betfort said.
Not only did the programs interest the eighth graders, but also the community Wando provides.
“I like how there’s so much stuff that I can find exactly what I want to do, and that there’s just so many people to connect with,” Laing eighth grader Ryan Bohr said.
The high school preview is not the only effort Wando makes to insure the incoming freshmen feel comfortable.
These other events include the shadowing program, Bagels with Beckham, showcase of majors and the freshman’s early first day of school.
A curriculum fair will be held on April 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Wando for eighth grade parents and students to explore course and major opportunities available.
Swinton believes that extracurricular activities are just as important as academia.
“Ultimately academics are our goal for all students, but we also know that when students are able to balance academics and extracurricular, they’re more likely to connect with others and enjoy their high school experience; and, more importantly succeed in life,” Swinton said.